Crispin Basketball Club Program 

Our Club Basketball Program is an opportunity for more serious players to develop and engage in the game over the course of a 2-3 month period. Our teams typically practice 2-3 times per week and play in a variety of weekend tournaments designed to expose them to a diversity of basketball.  

We believe that your child can grow in the game without burning out your entire family with tournaments every weekend. Though we enjoy the competition, the grind of youth sports is typically driven by money more than it is development. So we seek to find a careful balance between enjoying the competition and developing our players on the individual and team level. 

What we do with the players (and teams) we have always flows from our Developmental Model and its subsequent priorities. Our club teams usually consist of players within the range of Grades 4-8 (Intermediate and Next Steps period of growth). Before trying out for or joining our club, we encourage you to review our model and priorities. All we teach and emphasize flow from this model and an assessment of our team levels of play. What we do is always dictated by what we believe and how we can best serve the players we currently have. 

There are many clubs who are driven to win the weekend and to max out your child’s capabilities within a 3-4 month time frame. Every weekend, we encounter youth teams that are clearly pushing kids to a powerful extreme. And though that extreme may lead to more success now, we do not believe that is in their best interest for the long-term. Becoming a great basketball player is a marathon, not a sprint. So we are committed to wisely assessing our current mile in the race. 

We welcome your interest and your participation. We have enjoyed working with a great group of families and young players over the past 6 years and will continue to build upon that strong foundation in the years ahead as we seek to help your young player play the game better and enjoy the game more!

In order to serve people well, you have to know what you stand for. And what you are against! These convictions guide everything we do on the club level. 

Enjoyment comes first…and last.

In order to develop youth basketball players, fun cannot be optional. We must make it fun to get better and to make the goal of getting better to have more fun. Enjoyment is essential to developing our youth.

It’s not healthy to treat a youth basketball game or practice as if it were the pros. It’s not. In the end, it really doesn’t matter how good your child gets if he loses the fun. Without fun he or she will not last long enough to become the best player he can be. Fun is the means to getting better and the goal of getting better. Always. Forever.

Development is more important than winning…and you often have to choose between the two.

We have a good group of coaches here at Crispin Basketball who can surely devise strategies to win more games on the weekend. But that is not our goal. Our goal is to help kids play the game better and enjoy the game more. We are focused on long-term development. And long-term development is often at odds with weekend victories. Our choice is simple. Long-term wins.

The best example is our emphasis on man-to-man defense. I can promise you that this is not the best way to win on the weekends, but it is absolutely essential to learning for the long-haul. Zone defenses think for your players. Man-to-man forces players to react to various and countless different situations on the court. It forces players to make more defensive decisions. This leads to greater learning, but also to greater mistakes. But as I address next, this is exactly the point.

Learning requires failure…so failure is your friend.

One of the biggest issues in youth sports today is a lack of opportunities for kids to fail. When you are coaching to win, you must minimize failure. When you are coaching to teach (or to let the game teach), you must embrace failure. Indeed, you must welcome failure. It’s the only real way to learn.

If your kids are afraid to fail, they cannot learn. And oddly enough, they usually get worse, not better. Around here, failure is our friend. It’s the means to becoming the best we can be.

Skill-development comes first, but not in isolation from the game.

Well-developed basketball players can play in various kinds of basketball situations. On one hand, they can play with spontaneity. On the other hand, they can play with structure. The players who can only play in one kind of situation stifle their own growth. So we aim for both.

Developing a great ball-handler requires much more than a bunch of isolated dribbling and passing drills. Ball-handling involves passing and moving and catching and dribbling and deciding against all sorts of defenses and pressure. Learning such skills is a messy business, but it is precisely what young kids need in order to truly grow. This does not mean we don’t use structure. It simple means that structure is put into its proper place and stage of development. 

A well-run practice gives 10x’s more learning opportunities than a single game.

We believe that the real value in any club is how must your child learns and grows in practice. Game-learning is good, but it’s often very minimal. The time goes quickly and the minutes are shared. But a well-run 75 minute practice offers more learning opportunities than any single game.

A well-run practice prepares you for the game by overloading your systems with various game environments. Coaches can control the practice environment in a way that they cannot control the game environment. By managing our practices carefully, we teach more during that short time than all the games combined.

Developing your teammate skills is just as important as developing your basketball skills.

As a college coach, I evaluate players not solely by what they do on the court, but by how they act when they are off the court, especially on the bench. How do they respond to their coach? How well do they encourage and cheer for their teammates? How well do they control their body language? How positive are they with their words?

These are not secondary concerns for me. These are primary concerns. And when push comes to shove, I am not sure how any child can learn these vital lessons on a team where everything goes their way and they play as much as they want. You cannot learn to be a teammate by being given everything you want or by winning every game. Or by playing every minute you possibly can. That is not how it works.

Personal basketball development is about more than your child’s skills on the court. The bench is also a great teacher. Our teams will usually carry 10 players for multiple reasons (including physical). But one of the primary reasons is to help players learn one of the most important lessons of the game: it’s not all about you.

Every child will play, but I suspect no child will play as much as he or she wants (including my own). This is by design and offers your child the opportunity to develop the vital teammate skills that are much more important than you may think.

The best thing we can do for our kids is to better educate their parents.

I might as well say this plainly: the basic relationship between parents and youth sports has quickly spiraled out of control. More often than not, the atmosphere at weekend youth basketball tournaments (or even weekday youth basketball games) is completely embarrassing.

Youth coaches are constantly being questioned by parents who rarely know the game very well. These same coaches are constantly barking out instructions during the game or even yelling at young players. Parents are non-stop from the sidelines. Referees grow in short supply. All over what? An elementary or middle-school youth basketball game?

Youth players put enough pressure on themselves to perform, so when parents grow negative on coaches or referees or on the children themselves, enjoyment of the game is quickly lost. And when enjoyment is lost, development is hampered. Parental perspective is so much more important than you might think.

I can promise you that every single bit of legitimate research into youth sports ends up with the same conclusion: let the kids play. The best thing for your child’s long-term development is to just relax. Keep the pressure off and your mouth incredibly quiet. Think long-term. Control your emotions and be supportive win, lose, or draw. Put your child in an environment where they are encouraged to learn and have fun. It’s so simple, but often so difficult to do today.

We want to be different. We will be different. So we will hold ourselves and you to a higher standard. We will all commit to certain codes of conduct that we must maintain if we want our children to continue competing with Crispin Basketball. We will also offer various resources to help one another view our child’s youth experience more clearly.

At the end of the day, we want to teach your children all we possibly can in order to help them play the game better and enjoy the game more. But when all is said and done, we cannot do as much as you can to put things in perspective. So we will also invest into you.

The second best thing we can do for our kids is to educate their coaches.

One final area of focus for our club is the development of better coaches. Coaches are often the key to a child’s basketball development and joy. So our aim is to help coaches at various levels develop their overall philosophy and coaching gifts by coaching various levels of play.

We have a good group of coaches to begin with, but our coaches will be educated and evaluated throughout their seasons. Each coach will read certain books on youth development and receive feedback throughout the season on their practices and games. We want our coaches to have ownership over their teams and to give them opportunities to make mistakes like everyone else in order to promote their own personal growth.

Our coaches are not simply doing their own thing. They are learning our philosophy and doing their best to put it into practice on a day-to-day basis with our oversight. They are here to grow as coaches and to serve your kids, so I expect everyone to respect their efforts.

What do we expect from our players?

We expect you to show up with a good attitude.
We expect you to respect your coach.
We expect you to encourage your teammates.
We expect you to bring your best.
We expect you to focus and have fun.

What do we expect from our parents?

We expect you to bring your kids to practices and games on time and to communicate clearly when they are unable to make it on time or not at all.
We expect you to focus more on character development than game development.
We expect you to let the coaches coach.
We expect you to sit quietly in the stands and to enjoy watching your children play.
We expect you to say nothing to officials.
We expect you to resist all urges to ‘coach’ from the stands. It is counterproductive and it will not be tolerated.
We expect you to say only encouraging words to your children.
We expect you to reinforce the lessons we are seeking to teach.
We expect you to respect the decisions of the coach and to handle any disagreements in a respectful and humble way.
We expect you to respect our right to run this club and each respective team as we think best.

What do we expect from our coaches?

We expect them to love the game and to possess a passion to pass on that love to the kids they coach.
We expect them to focus on the fundamentals.
We expect them to make learning fun.
We expect them to compete with character.
We expect them to be a source of encouragement to your children, to be genuinely and unwaveringly positive.
We expect them to hold themselves to a higher standard than they hold your children.
We expect them to respect the calls of the officials, no matter how horrible those calls may be (and many will be downright horrible).
We expect them to communicate with their parents consistently and clearly.
We expect them to play every child fairly (which is not the same thing as evenly).
We expect them to demand much without being demeaning.
We expect them to hold every parent to the standards we have set; and to report to us any difficulties they are having with the parents of any player.

When are Crispin Basketball Spring Club tryouts?

Crispin Basketball Spring Club tryouts are typically held in January and February. For 2020, they will be held on Sunday, January 26th and Sunday, February 2nd for 5th – 8th grade.

How do I register for Crispin Basketball Spring Club Tryouts?

To register for Crispin Basketball Spring Club tryouts please visit the Spring Tryout Registration page.

How much do Crispin Basketball Spring Club tryouts cost?

The cost is $15 if you register online beforehand and $20 if you register at the door.

When will I hear if my player made a Crispin Basketball Spring Club team?

Teams are typically announced 2 weeks after the final tryout date.  Once the rosters have been announced, players have about 10 days to confirm they would like to play on the team and order their uniform.  The 1st payment will be taken at registration.  Registration must be completed within those 10 days.

How many teams will you have?

That depends on numbers we have for tryouts.  We would like to have 1-2 teams at the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade level for boys.  If we cannot field a team at an age group, we won’t run a program at that age group.  We also run a development program for those who do not make a team.

How many players will be on each team?

Each team will have 10 players and 2 practice players.

Will you have girls’ teams this year?

No, we will only be running teams for boys this year.

How much does Crispin Basketball Spring Club cost?

Different ages have different costs due to the number of tournaments, referee fees, training fees, etc. Below is an estimate of cost:

Development Group- $225

5th and 6th Grade – $450 ($300 for practice player)

7th and 8th Grade- $600 ($350 for practice player)

Does Crispin Basketball Spring Club give any financial support?

Yes, Crispin Basketball Club gives a discount to families with multiple players in our club.  The total cost will be deducted 15%.  Other financial needs must be requested to Erin Crispin (erin@crispinbasketball.com) before the start of the season.

Does Crispin Basketball Club offer a payment plan?

Yes, we do offer a payment plan.  The first payment is due at registration and the second payment will be taken at the halfway point.

How do I pay?

Each club member must sign up on our website’s platform through Sports Engine.  There you will be able to manage your player’s calendar and your payments.  Each player will have payments automatically withdrawn from their credit card when the payment is due (first payment due upon registration).  If you do not use a credit card or prefer not to use a credit card for our club, you will have to make arrangements with Erin Crispin (erin@crispinbasketball.com) before the first payment is due.

What happens if my player quits or get injured?

We offer no refunds as we budget for gear, gym time, coaches’ salaries and tournaments ahead of time.  All payments must be fulfilled.  If a suitable replacement player (approved by the club) can be found, payments can be transferred to that player.

When do I purchase my uniform?

The uniform and extra gear will be available to purchase online through MBM Sports once the teams have been announced. You will receive an email with further directions on how to purchase gear.  The uniform must be purchased about 4 days after the rosters have been announced.

Are uniforms provided? 

A private store will be available for the team after the rosters are announced.  All gear will be ordered through this store within 2 weeks and then delivered to a practice before the start of tournaments.

What gear is included? What is the cost?

The pieces that must be purchased are at least 1 jersey, 1 pair of shorts and 1 long sleeve performance shirt.  You will not be able to check out without those items in your basket.  The cost is approximately $50.

Can I purchase extra gear?

Yes, you can purchase as many extra pieces of the uniform, as well as additional CB gear (short sleeve performance t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants) for your player or family members that you would like.  This is the only time to purchase gear during the season.

What color are the 2018-2019 jerseys, shorts and performance shirts?

The colors will all be in the navy, white, charcoal and orange families.

Who will be my player’s coach?

Each team will have a head coach that will be in charge of their team only.  Possibilities of the head coaches can be found on our Biographies page. Please note: Joe Crispin does not coach every team, nor will he be at every practice.

How long is the Crispin Basketball Spring Club season?

The season is a different length for different age groups.  Below is an estimated timeline:

Development Group: mid March- mid April (10 sessions)

5th and 6th grade: mid March- early May (about 8 weeks)

7th and 8th grade: mid March- late May (about 10 weeks)

When and where are Crispin Basketball Spring Club practices?

Most practices will be held during the week at Rowan University’s Esby gym.  Practices may also be held at Pitman Middle School or another local facility.  Practices are usually 2 times per week for 5th and 6th grade and 3 times per week for 7th and 8th grade (may change due to tournament play the prior weekend) and run about 1.5 hours.  Typically two teams will practice together.

How many tournaments will Crispin Basketball Spring Club participate in?

The 5th and 6th grade teams will play in approximately 3 tournaments. The 7th and 8th grade teams will play in approximately 5 tournaments.  The following are tentative dates when we attend tournaments.  Specific tournaments will be given to the teams ASAP.

April 4-5 for 5th-8th Grade
April 18-19 for 5th-8th Grade
May 2-3 for 5th-8th Grade
May 16-17 for 7th-8th Grade
May 23-24 for 7th-8th Grade


Where are tournaments held?

Most tournaments are held within 60-90 minutes of Glassboro, NJ.

Register a player

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